Target: Mike Bender, owner of EastBurn restaurant
Goal: Thank EastBurn for calling out and addressing sexism
Yelp reviewers are not always known for being the kindest, most thoughtful group of people, but when one Yelper took things too far Mike Bender, owner of EastBurn restaurant in Portland, called out the reviewer’s sexist remarks and introduced a creative charity promotion to benefit domestic violence survivors. Sign the petition and thank Bender for his effective and thoughtful response to misogynistic trolling.
The Yelp page of EastBurn, a pub in Portland, Oregon, was recently graced with a head-scratcher of a review from someone named Lee M., who wrote, “My friend and I picked up some hot girls here, but he got his pregnant. But she was Canadian so she went home and got a free abortion so it’s all cool now. You can get grilled cheeses here for $5.”
Even though the review offered 5/5 stars (apparently on the strength of the $5 grilled cheese, not the “hot girls”), owner Mike Bender did not appreciate it, responding, “5 stars to you Lee M. for making an example of how this kind of disrespect towards women is shameful and not at all funny … As a thank you for spotlighting this kind of behavior, all proceeds through August from the sale of EastBurn’s Grilled Cheeses will go to the Portland’s Women’s Crisis Line.”
In a world where misogyny is often brushed off as a joke or “not a big deal,” it is refreshing to see a man standing up and calling out such behavior. It’s particularly heartening to see such a thing happen in the restaurant industry, which, as Bender himself admits, is often disrespectful of women.
Bender’s thoughtful and creative response to something so crass and unfunny certainly merits praise. Sign the petition and thank him for using his business to stand for what is right.
Dear Mr. Bender,
I am writing to thank you for your response to the recent sexist review of EastBurn on Yelp. Your poise and creativity in responding to such a needlessly misogynistic and crass remark should be a model for business owners everywhere.
Too often, misogynistic remarks are brushed off as “not a big deal” or are branded “jokes,” as if that makes them better. As you point out, women in the restaurant industry face extremely high levels of sexism and disrespect, and it is heartening to see someone within the industry taking a stand against sexism. Your ability to turn a negative comment into a positive movement for change is impressive and admirable, and I commend you for your charity work to benefit the Portland Women’s Crisis Line.
Thank you for showing how to call out sexism in a classy, thought-provoking way.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: David Berkowitz